BIRMINGHAM, AL – Birmingham’s street food scene is still young, but it’s already cooked up some creative meals.Fresh Off the Bun vends Vietnamese Tacos, while Spoonfed Grill serves quesadillas, goat cheese and cranberry lime turkey burgers. Then there’s Shindigs Catering which offers very upscale lunch fare like “seared quail with grits,” sweet potato buns and burgers with “humanely raised” beef. Too bad Birmingham bureaucrats are trying to crack down on food trucks.
The city council is currently debating a newly proposed 17-pageordinance to regulate food trucks. A vote is expected on December 11. Recently revised, this new ordinance came about after complaints from some owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants. Yet the proposed ordinance is so onerous, a few food truck owners are even threatening to quit vending altogether. Take Mac Russell, co-owner of the Shindigs Catering Truck: “If this goes through, there is no way I’m going with this. I will go a different direction in business other than try to keep up with all the stuff they are trying to get us to do.” Using the power of the state is one way to muscle out the competition.
For starters, the revised ordinance would ban food trucks from selling within 230-foot of an open brick-and-mortar restaurant. Street food vendors could stay no more than two hours in one location, while “suggested hours are 7 to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch, and 4 to 6 p.m. for dinner.”
Find the entire article by Nick Sibilla at the Institute of Justice <here>